Gov't officials receive drug law enforcement training
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Author: Phetsamon Chandala
Government officials are being trained on the application of the Law on Drugs in order to strengthen their capacity to fight the growing drug trade in Laos.
A training seminar, which began yesterday in Vientiane and will run until December 17, was jointly presided over by Deputy Minister of Justice Ket Kiettisak, Vice Chairman of the Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC) Kou Chansina and UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Representative to Laos Leik Boonwaat.
The seminar was attended by participants from drug control commissions, prosecutor's offices, courts and health authority offices in Vientiane and the provinces of Xieng Khuang, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Borikhamxay and Khammuan.
At the seminar, Mr Ket said drugs are a serious problem that is threatening society.
Ten years ago, there were few reported drug cases in Laos, most of which occurred in the southern provinces, but nowadays all provinces are impacted and many people, particularly teenagers, are addicted to drugs.
"This problem could become a huge disaster for the country, because if all our young people are addicted to drugs, who will be the national successors?" Mr Ket asked.
He said the Party and government have paid great attention to the fight against drugs by putting in place strict measures and regulations to punish wrongdoers through the enactment of the Law on Drugs and the adoption of the National Drug Control Master Plan.
Mr Kou said drug use is rapidly growing and is the root of many social problems, such as the current spate of robberies and bag-snatchings, fighting and road accidents.
"Officials who are both indirectly or directly responsible for this issue must have a more comprehensive awareness of all things from drug definitions and categories, impacts of drug abuse, laws or justice acts on drugs, administrative mechanisms to control and supervise drugs at each level, and prosecution of drug dealers and consumers," he said.
According to a press release from the UNODC, the training will be provided by a group of national experts from the LCDC, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Security, Office of the Supreme People's Prosecutor, People's Supreme Court and Ministry of Health.
The seminar will also review significant issues in drug law enforcement according to provisions of the law on drugs and the penal code. It intends to enhance field-level officials' understanding of the law to the extent that they can comfortably apply it to actual cases they encounter in their daily operations.